KANGAROO Flat made sure its second trip to the QEO in a fortnight was productive with a convincing 44-point win over South Bendigo on Saturday.
After a reasonably even first half, the Roos broke away in the concluding two quarters adding nine goals to the Bloods’ four.
Flat’s midfield led by Ross Turner, co-captain Luke Lougoon and re-bounder James Saville got right on top of their South opponents feeding forwards Cameron Rinaldi and Corbin Fleming in the 15.6 (96) to 7.10 (52) victory.
Rinaldi (five) and Fleming (three) nailed their shots convincingly, barely missing from either set shots or snaps.
At the other end of the field Josh Whelan was a one-man band for South booting five of their meagre total of seven majors.
On a greasy QEO surface, intermittently dampened even more by occasional showers, Rinaldi and Fleming shone in the first half.
Nick Lang, Ross Turner and Linc Frost combined for Fleming to boot the Roos’ to the lead late in the first term. Within the first 30 seconds of the second quarter, Rinaldi took a tumbling mark and found Fleming at the city end for another major.
Only Whelan was able to keep South in touch. An elementary defensive mistake on the full-back line by Roo defenders allowed Whelan to swoop on the spilled ball and grubber home a major.
The Bloods made a meal of working the ball out of defence. They’d boot the ball sideways across the city end half-back line and even go backwards, deep into the pockets.
But when Michael Tonkin was pushed out in a marking contest, his goal reduced the leeway to five points: 3.3 to 4.2.
Rinaldi and Braydan Knox (who spent time as a high half-forward/winger) restored Flat’s advantage by the main break.
The third term belonged to the Roos. They added six goals to two with Rinaldi (2), Lougoon, Corey Greer, Simon Davies and Matt Giri banging home majors.
South’s Bendigo Gold-listed player Galen Munari landed a neat set shot but was assisted off the field by two trainers later in the third term with a leg injury.
After Whelan had added two more South goals – the first from a pinpoint Aaron Connaughton pass – Flat got going late in the final term.
It took until the 23-minute mark before Rinaldi capped off a Turner thrust, followed by a ripping grubber from Davies and a Fleming set shot.
Roo coach Jason Stevens agreed that his defence had stifled South’s attack. “Tim Brooks, Dylan Clohesy, young Liam Collins, Alex Pearson and James Saville were really good.
“But we’d been questioned a bit after last week’s loss to Sandhurst. Actually questioned a lot about the heart of the group, and the passion, so to the boys’ credit we stood up and got the job done.”
The loss leaves the Bloods 0—6 with one-third of the season completed.
After the sudden resignation of senior coach Jeff ‘Joffa’ Brennan last Monday night many tipsters (your correspondent included) thought the new regime might bring the Bloods home to their first win for 2014.
But new co-coaches – BFNL Hall of Famer Peter ‘Tiger’ Tyack and development coach Neale Torpey – just couldn’t get South onto the winners’ list.
South’s players, committee members and support staff had been called to the emergency meeting in the QEO clubrooms on Monday. They were told extended work commitments would prevent Brennan from carrying out his duties.
Brennan coached Maryborough in 2013 and was Bendigo’s representative coach from 2009-13. He led the Blue and Golds to a famous victory over arch-rivals Ballarat at Bacchus Marsh in 2009 (his first season at the helm) plus two wins over Gippsland since then.
He took over as South coach straight after the 2013 season had ended.
Kangaroo Flat 2.0 6.2 12.5 15.6 (96)
South Bendigo 1.1 3.3 5.5 7.10 (52)
Goals – Kangaroo Flat: Cameron Rinaldi 5, Corbin Fleming 3, Simon Davies 2, Corey Greer, Luke Lougoon, Linc Frost, Braydan Knox, Matt Giri. South Bendigo: Josh Whelan 5, Galen Munari, Michael Tonkin.
Best – Kangaroo Flat: Cameron Rinaldi (best afield), Ross Turner, James Saville, Liam Collins, Dylan Clohesy, Corbin Fleming, Luke Lougoon, Paul Brooks. South Bendigo: Josh Whelan, Aaron Connaughton, Liam Byrne, Ash Morris, Daniel Frew.